1. ITV Report

Firmus energy set to increase gas prices next month

The price increase means a typical Ten Towns average household bill will rise by £3.15 per month, and £3.63 per month in Greater Belfast.

Firmus energy has announced gas tariffs will rise for thousands of customers next month.

The increase will affect 85,000 customers in the Ten Towns and Greater Belfast area.

The company says the decision was “regrettable”, but “unavoidable”.

Customers in the Ten Towns network, which includes Londonderry, Coleraine, Ballymena, Newry and Armagh, will see a price rise of 6.8% from 5 April. Meanwhile in the Greater Belfast area, tariffs will increase by 8.8% from 16 April.

The Consumer Council estimate the typical Firmus Energy annual bill in Ten Towns will increase by £39 per year to £619. Customers in Greater Belfast will see a typical bill rise by £45.

Michael Scott, Managing Director of Firmus energy said: “We work hard to keep our tariffs as low as possible, to offer price stability for customers and give them confidence in natural gas.”

The decision to raise our tariffs is regrettable and never easy.

However, in this instance, the cost of bringing natural gas to our customers has increased and our price rise has been unavoidable.

– Michael Scott, Firmus Managing Director

Mr Scott continued: “Our pricing team has engaged extensively with the Utility Regulator, the Department for the Economy and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, in relation to our regulated tariff in the Ten Towns licensed area.

“We keep our tariffs under continual review to ensure we are bringing the best possible prices to our customers.”

Last week, SSE Airtricity announced an increase in its gas prices of 7.8% in the Greater Belfast area from 1 April.